IT WILL be lightsabers at dawn next week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when two car makers show off their latest lighting technology.
In the blue corner, the Audi R8 LMX with its blue-tinged laser headlights, active at speeds over 37mph.
In the brilliant white corner, Mercedes with its facelifted CLS Coupé and Shooting Brake models featuring the manufacturer’s latest-generation Multibeam LED headlamps. An evolution of those found on the S-class, C-class and E-class, the smart headlights have more LEDs, are brighter and act faster to reshape the light beam in response to forward, or approaching, traffic and objects.
Meanwhile, the refreshed CLS gets a choice of revised engines including a CLS220 BlueTec diesel producing 168bhp and 295 lb ft torque from 2.1 litres. At the same time, the CLS350 CGI is replaced by the more powerful CLS400, while the range-topping CLS63 AMG will be available in just one version producing 577bhp and 590 lb ft torque.
All but the CLS63 AMG have a new nine-speed automatic gearbox, called the 9G-Tronic.
Styling-wise, the refreshed models receive a more elaborate nose featuring larger air ducts and what Mercedes calls a “diamond radiator grille”. Inside, the cabin is much as before save for the arrival of a free-standing monitor, as in the CLA, and, though it doesn’t look it, a less fussier centre console.
Prices for the Coupé start at £46,500 for the CLS 220 BlueTEC and £48,080 for the Shooting Brake variant.